Texas Covid-19 cases surge as businesses remain open, Gov Greg Abbott slammed as 'coward' for betraying Texans
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the state will remain “wide open for business” despite the dramatic 10-day rise in Covid-19-related hospitalizations and infections in the state. More than 111,000 cases have been reported in the state and over 2,100 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 3,200 people are hospitalized across the state. More than 120,000 people in the US have died from Covid-19, more than any other country in the world.
Meanwhile, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has suspended the alcohol permits of four Downtown Austin bars because they were breaking social distancing rules.
On Monday, Abbott said, "To state the obvious, Covid-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled." He continued to ask Texans to wear masks and continue social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus but stopped short of making masks mandatory, and made no call for businesses to restrict services.
Abbott continued, "We have several strategies to reduce the spread without having to shut Texas back down.” He recognized that some Texans view wearing masks as, “infringement of freedom”, but said not following guidelines will “ultimately lead to the closure of more businesses”. At the end of a press conference, Abbott donned his own face mask, adorned with stars and stripes.
Many took to social media to express their displeasure with Abbott as Texas continues to see a rise in coronavirus infections, the last few days saw an average of 3,500 new cases per day within the state. One user tweeted, "My fellow Texans, your governor. Using ranch metaphors to state the obvious. The real story is, in his haste to appease trump, he put trump first. He, and only he, is responsible for this. He sold out at our expense. #AbbottBetrayedTexas." Another wrote, "Wow, all the states with governors who ignored science & scoffed at the most basic CDC guidelines for reopening are about to 'go through some things.' I just feel bad for their citizens & especially their 1st responders & hospital workers. Vote the GOP out. #AbbottBetrayedTexas."
A resident of West Texas tweeted, "I highly doubt quietly saying 'wear a mask' and TABC closing a few bars is going to make a difference @GregAbbott_TX. You opened way too soon. Take some damn responsibility for that. #AbbottBetrayedTexas." They added, "Unbelievable. @GovAbbott is a coward who placed more value on the economy than on human life. Texans will pay the price."
A user opined, "He opened the state 4-6 weeks too early. He then moved too quickly through the stages. He needs to reissue the stay at home order. At the very least issue a face mask order. This disaster is Abbott's and his alone. He did this."
As Abbott criticized young people for the rise in cases last week, a user noted, "Oh look— the guy who opened the state against all scientific and expert recommendation is now blaming us for his failures."